Do you know the One in whom you believe? If you believe in God, do you really know who He is, along with His Son and His Holy Spirit? Why is even accurately knowing about God important? |
The entire Bible clearly supplies all the information we need in order to know about God, , His Son, and His Holy Spirit, so here, I will briefly outline the basic and fundamental facts from the Bible, God's final written authority for us. Accurate knowledge about God and Jesus is vital to our salvation. Read on...
God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit comprise what we call the "Holy Trinity." The Holy Trinity is a spiritual unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are "one" in a spiritual sense. To understand this oneness, we need to understand what the Bible says about marriage. It says that when a man and woman marry, they become "one flesh": "Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh." (Genesis 2:24, WEB) That doesn't literally mean that they become one person. What it means is that they become "one" in spiritual unity. In the same way, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are "one" in spiritual unity; they are not literally "one God" in a physical sense. They share the same purpose, goals, and they work together harmoniously to achieve their plans.
Jesus wishes all Christians to achieve this oneness, as he indicated in his prayer to the Father: "Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are." (John 17:11)
Please also carefully read John 17:20-26, which says:
"Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world hasn't known you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me. I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them."
The above passage helps us understand the concept of "oneness" or spiritual unity. Just as the Father (Yahweh) and the Son (Jesus) are "one," all believers are to be "one" with the Father and the Son. Did Jesus ask that all believers be literally one person? Of course not; that would be absurd.
The concept of "oneness" is described in two different ways in the Bible: 1) we are one, and 2) you in me and I in you. For example, John 10:38 says, "The Father is in me [Jesus], and I in the Father." This verse often confuses people because they don't understand this spiritual oneness concept; they think that John 10:38 means that the Father (God) and the Son (Jesus) are the same Person. On the contrary, it simply means that God and Jesus are "one" in a spiritual sense, not a physical sense. So if you see either kind of this wording in the Bible ("we are one" or "you in me and I in you"), you'll know that it means the same thing.
Now, let us identify each member of the Holy Trinity using the Holy Scriptures.
The Father is the one and only true God Almighty, whose personal name is Yahweh ("Jehovah" in English, from "YHWH" in Hebrew). Yahweh said: "I am Yahweh, and there is none else. Besides me, there is no God." (Isaiah 45:5)
The name "Yahweh" means "He who chooses to become," meaning that He can be anything and do anything He wants. He indicates Himself as "I am that I am" for this reason. (Exodus 3:14) Simply put, He is Almighty.
Yahweh is the most supreme Being of the universe: "that they may know that you alone, whose name is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth." (Psalm 83:18)
Yahweh is the Creator of everything in the universe, both visible and invisible: "I am Yahweh, who makes all things; who alone stretches out the heavens; who spreads out the earth by myself." (Isaiah 44:24)
As in any father-son relationship, the Father is greater than Jesus, as Jesus said: "…the Father is greater than I." (John 14:28, ASV)
For this reason, Jesus calls Yahweh both "my Father" and "my God." For example, before returning to his Father's side in heaven, Jesus said to Mary from Magdala, "Don't hold me, for I haven't yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (John 20:17, WEB)
After he was back at his Father's side in heaven, Jesus continues to call God "my God," as in: "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will go out from there no more. I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name." (Revelation 3:12)
The apostle Paul confirmed this relationship between God and Jesus by urging us to glorify "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 15:6) Yes, Yahweh is the God and Father of Jesus.
Paul also indicated that "the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God," and that we belong to Jesus and that Jesus belongs to God: "you are of Christ, and Christ is of God," therefore Yahweh is above all and the Father of all. (I Corinthians 11:3, WEB; 1 Corinthians 3:23, NIV)
Finally, Jesus calls the Father "the only true God." Accurately knowing both the only true God and Jesus himself is vital to our salvation! Jesus said to his Father, "Now This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ." (John 17:3, WEB) From this prayer, we learn three important things:
1) Our eternal life (salvation) is dependent on an accurate knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. Think about it: if we believe in the wrong God, we might as well believe in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy; it won't make much of a difference what we believe if we don't have an accurate knowledge of God. Salvation is given to those who accept and believe a) in the death and sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and b) the One who initiated the salvation plan: Yahweh.
However, simply knowing that Yahweh God and Jesus Christ exist does no one good. Remember, even the demons believe in God and they shudder, but are they going to receive eternal life? (James 2:19) No, unless they repent!
So our knowledge of the only true God and His Son Jesus Christ should be knowing them intimately as friends. We need to know their wishes, desires, commandments, personalities, and then properly respond to our knowledge by showing our love for them.
2) Note that in his prayer to God, Jesus said, "...that they should know you, the only true God..." The "you" here refers to Yahweh. So Yahweh is the "only true God," no one else, not even Jesus. Notice that Jesus did not say, "that they may know us, the only true God." Jesus did not use the word "us" to refer to the only true God; instead, he used "you." So Jesus is not God Almighty; only Yahweh is God Almighty. So who is Jesus? Look at number three:
3) Note that Jesus said, "...and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ." Jesus referred to himself as the one whom "you," (God) had sent. Jesus was sent by Yahweh; Jesus did not send himself. Jesus is the Son of God, our Messiah, Savior and Master, commissioned and sent by Yahweh to do His will.
Yahweh calls Jesus "my Son."
Yahweh said to Jesus: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." (Mark 1:11)
"Thou art my son; This day have I begotten thee." (Psalm 2:7, ASV)
The Bible adds to Jesus' position by telling us that Jesus is God's "only begotten Son," so Jesus is far higher than any sons of God, whether angels or humans. No other being has this special position as the only begotten Son of God. (John 1:18)
Yahweh also called Jesus "my servant."
Foretelling of Jesus' first coming to Earth, Yahweh said, "...behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch." (Zechariah 3:8, ASV) And "Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delights--I have put my Spirit on him. He will bring justice to the nations." (Isaiah 42:1, WEB) Yahweh calls Jesus His "servant" because He is greater than Jesus, who works for Him and under Him.
The saying "Like father, like son" couldn't be more accurate and fitting to describe this holy Father-Son relationship. Jesus is "the image of the invisible God." (Colossians 1:15) He is spiritually like his Father in every way. To know him is to know God.
Like his Father, the Son never changes: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
Jesus played a major role in the world's creation:
"All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made." (John 1:3)
"...Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds." (Hebrews 1:2)
"For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him." (Colossians 1:16)
How is this so? Well, Yahweh alone created the world by Jesus, just as He alone led Israel out of Egypt "by the hand of Moses and Aaron." (Psalm 77:20) In all events, Yahweh is the Boss, the Director, and the Supervisor, who uses agents to carry out His works. God is the Mastermind, and Jesus is His partner in creation.
Prior to his arrival on Earth through a miraculous virgin birth, Jesus lived with his Father in heaven as a mighty Spirit Being. He was sent down by God to do God's will.
Jesus himself said, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up at the last day. This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:38-40)
After Jesus died and was resurrected, he returned to his Father's side, where Yahweh "made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come. He put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." (Ephesians 1:20-23) What a glorious reward Yahweh has bestowed upon His dearest Son, who no doubt deserves all the honor and glory!
"Jesus" in Hebrew means "Yahweh Is Salvation." "Christ" (Messiah) means the "Appointed One." So Jesus is the one appointed by God to provide us salvation, while salvation ultimately comes from Yahweh: "I myself am Yahweh; and besides me there is no savior." (Isaiah 43:11) (If you have questions about what salvation is all about, you can read my article here: http://tinyurl.com/ylaafno )
Jesus will come to Earth for the second time to finalize God's gift of salvation to the children of God and co-heirs of Jesus by resurrecting them unto eternal life. Jesus will be our King for one thousand years.
After Jesus' millennial rule, he will return the Kingdom back to his Father so "that God may be all in all." (I Corinthians 15:28, ASV)
"Christ will rule until he puts all his enemies under his power, and the last enemy he destroys will be death. When the Scriptures say that he will put everything under his power, they don't include God. It was God who put everything under the power of Christ. After everything is under the power of God's Son, he will put himself under the power of God, who put everything under his Son's power. Then God will mean everything to everyone." (I Corinthians 15:25-28, CEV)
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is Yahweh's dynamic active force, His creative power, which He uses to perform any and all tasks. For example, He used the Holy Spirit to make the virgin Mary conceive so she could give birth to Jesus. (Luke 1:35)
The Holy Spirit played a very important role in Jesus' earthly ministry. Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit to perform miracles:
"…Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:38)
Yahweh also used His Holy Spirit to resurrect Jesus from the dead. Likewise, we will be resurrected by the Spirit in the same manner. In the meantime, the Holy Spirit dwells in each child of God to give power and life: "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you." (Romans 8:11)
While dwelling in us, the Holy Spirit develops godly quality in us called the fruit of the Spirit: "...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
Besides developing the fruit in us, the Holy Spirit also empowers us to be powerful witnesses of the Gospel: "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we would be powerless in and against all things, not just in our ministry.
Since the Holy Spirit is Yahweh's active and creative power, the Spirit is involved in countless other activities, including the restraint against Satan, the giving of spiritual gifts to all Christians, the provisions of the revelation and wisdom required to understand the Bible, guidance and protection, the demonstration of God's love and power, among others.
If you'd like to learn more about Yahweh God Almighty, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, I strongly advise you to pick up a copy of the Bible and carefully read and study it on a regular basis. This is how you can begin to develop an intimate relationship with Yahweh. A relationship with God is the most sacred and fulfilling of all relationships, so don't delay; start deepening your knowledge about your Heavenly Father today!
For other basic facts about the Bible, visit "Bible FAQs" at http://www.shirleycheng.com
About the Author: Dr. Shirley Cheng (b. 1983) is a blind and physically disabled award-winning author with twenty-seven book awards, proclaimer of Yahweh God's good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, Bible teacher, founder of www.Ultra-Ability.com Ministry, summa cum laude graduate with Doctor of Divinity, motivational speaker, poet; and author of nine books (including "Do You Love Jehovah?"), contributor to over twenty-five, and an editor of one. Shirley has had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy. Owing to years of hospitalization, she received no education until age eleven. Back then, she knew only her ABCs and very simple English; other than that, her book knowledge was non-existent. However, after only about 180 days of special education in elementary school, she mastered grade level and entered a regular sixth grade class in middle school. Unfortunately, Shirley lost her eyesight at the age of seventeen. After a successful eye surgery, she hopes to earn multiple science doctorates from Harvard University. Visit http://www.shirleycheng.com
Do you have questions about the Bible? Something you don't understand? Do you need a bit of guidance in developing a relationship with Yahweh? Then Shirley would like to help you! Please contact her via her site at http://www.ultra-ability.com and she would be more than glad to do her best to answer your questions! Never hesitate to ask questions, for no question about the Bible is ever too small or stupid.
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